Nurse Protectors

IMG_4702

It's been some time since I've posted. This year my words have been few, allowing my paintbrush to express what words could not say. Instead of a barrage of chatter, I've only wanted to speak words of life. 

I imagine because of yesterday's routine medical procedure and today being 9/11, I've felt the strong pulse of The Muse inspiring new empathy and compassion. I am feeling the deeper invitation of the role we are all invited to partake in, the role of a tender technician and nurse protectors in a world of flaming towers.

Years ago I had encounters with Red Cross Vehicles regularly appearing in my neighborhood and surrounding areas. I received Red Cross brochures in the mail and even had a woman attend one of my home group meetings who ironically worked for the Red Cross.  I went so far as to research the Red Cross's origin and discovered that it was originally established to bring aid and relief to victims of war. Even though I am not a professional nurse, nor plan to be, the significance of that fact has spoken volumes to me through the years concerning the wars we all face in our individual lives, not to mention corporately, as human beings, thus the poem that follows.

 

NURSE PROTECTORS

Hooked up to wires, 

Warm blanket failing to insulate me from the flood of raw vulnerability,

Windex-clear memory.

 

A tender technician reads the uneasiness on my face.

Hospital lighting taking me back, unearthing tears I thought were all cried out.

Those last goodbyes and scars embedded like arrows in a families heart.

 

A routine IV prick and the thin veneer of a hospital gown have the ability to wobble ones demeanor.

Surrendering to the hands of strangers, skilled or otherwise takes courage. All I needed was a little tenderness.

 

Anesthetist erasing my awareness of my gown open wide, probing and disarming any knowledge of drool on my face.

If only the pain tape could be wiped as clean, the flames in those towers squelched, the diagnoses recalled, the wondering refugees planted in real homes.

Yet where would humanities' empathy and compassion find it's lexicon?

 

I applaud those nurse protectors, those soldiers with hoses dousing our flames. Those words spoken aptly in our time of need, cradling our wobble and soothing an ounce more of humanities pain. 

If not for the courage and bravery to enter another's burning building, to stop in ones tracks and enter the barrage of another's flames, we will only increase in casualties on the battlefield of life. Vulnerability would never be spoken and true connection never made. 

 

 

Day 23 Love Makes Ordinary People Superheroes

 

Superherogirlsigned

Mark and I shared our morning coffee (tea for me) chatting about the tangible heartbreak in the world and the problems that can’t be solved with pat answers, rhetoric, judgments or opinions. Who cares about opinions? As the saying goes they are like assholes, everyone’s got one.

We live in a world where we see a regular occurrence of pushing those we disagree with or don’t understand outside the circle. Annihilating those we don't want to see with words or physical harm has become commonplace. And yet placing oneself above the rest of humanity is the most arrogant and shortsighted perspective imaginable, considering we all come from the same source.

We should shutter from the arrogance that pits one man against another and the blindness that elevates one above the next, simultaneously overlooking the weakness in ourselves.

We actually need to get to know people that are different than we are. We need to feel the pain in our neighbor’s life to understand the ways in which we are not so different.

Where opinions and judgments fail, Martin Luther King Jr. profoundly stated, “Love is the only force capable of turning an enemy into a friend.”

This week alone, I felt the pain in the heart of a friend navigating life as a gay man. I heard and felt a wife’s ache as she reluctantly faces the finality of burying her husband. I saw mothers tormented over the treatment of their children and the judgment that sized them up into right or wrong, good or bad, insider verses outsider. I felt their pain as a human being and in some way could relate it to my own. I had the beautiful opportunity to see human beings.

We need not think it’s our job to fix or set another person straight, so that they come into alignment with what we believe. Who do we think we are?

Taking the time to see an individual and loving them, as a fully loved and accepted child of God is far superior to any opinion. Love makes ordinary people into superheroes. 

Day 10 Remember Butterfly

Butterflyquotesigned

I painted this butterfly, because I needed to be reminded that the butterfly wouldn’t always be a caterpillar.

 

Today, I’m saying to myself, “hold on butterfly. It’s gonna be okay!”

 

I call myself Butterfly and other endearing names like, Beautiful and Sweetheart. In fact, some mornings the first thing I hear when I wake up is the greeting, “Good morning beautiful! This is your day!” I know God is excited to spend the day loving me, and I get another day to love Him.

 

Today, I needed to be reminded that I am a Butterfly. I needed to remember. And boy did I remember. With a goodness kiss I got a healthy reminder and I will share about it tomorrow. Come back by for a visit!

Day 29, Intimacy, 30 Days of Creative Expression

Day 29 Intimacy2JPGLance Secretan wrote about the Intimacy SPIRIT@WORK® Card,

“Organizations are potential meeting places where we can tell our stories, comfort each other in our sorrows, and celebrate each other in our joys. They are organizations of humans who need to laugh, cry-and, yes, hug-together. We are all vulnerable, hungry for love and intimacy, filled with more questions than answers and, therefore, above all, very human. At our core, personality gives way to soul. Intimacy means “into-me-see.”

I like that Secretan brings core values into the work place. Many institutions would not dare talk about intimacy, vulnerability or other core factors that make-up our very human existence, yet why not?

Intimacy or the resistance to it seems to be a driving force in our lives. Intimacy is established over time where trust is developed. A betrayal of trust can easily debacle all sense of closeness and intimacy.

Like most people, over the years I’ve experienced many relationships where a sense of trust was breached. Although there remains no guarantee, choosing to love and put oneself out there is what life and relationship is all about.

However, intimacy can’t be forced and in fact needs well-tended soil for it to thrive. Relationships with skin in the game develop intimacy through vulnerability and authenticity. The most sacred parts of oneself might best be reserved for those counted trustworthy, rather than those with no skin in the game.

Many of us have opened ourselves up or laid ourselves down physically, emotionally, or spiritually to those who are a mere blip on the radar of our lives. Why would we do such a thing?  There can be no real intimacy without each person owning authority and sacredness over his or her own life.

True intimacy wins the place of respect, honor and authenticity like no pseudo emotionalism, mere words, or the bearing of one’s soul ever can.

How well do you nurture and honor the building of trust and intimacy in your relationships?

Day 17, Authenticity, 30 Days of Creative Expression

Blue chair watermarkTodays SPIRIT@WORK® Card is: Authenticity. Like the sheer covering over the chair in my drawing today, Authenticity is about willingness to be vulnerable and to be seen.

Lance Secretan wrote, “It is not until we acquire courage that we can become real and being real is not about hiding our truth, or our emotions and vulnerabilities. On the contrary it is about revealing them-being authentic.”

Authenticity is a beautiful thing when we courageously choose to be seen, as we truly are, no camouflage, no pretense, just showing up with our cheer veil of imperfect humanity and beauty. 

I imagine most people would prefer the real deal to a counterfeit, but it takes courage to expose what others might judge or not understand. However, if we are to live at peace with ourselves, we must practice mustering the courage to show up authentically

The best role we could have in this life is the one where we get to be ourselves. It is an honor and a privilege and there is no way to improve on that! 

How are you showing up courageously authentic in your present circumstances?

I Like Green Eggs, But Hold the Label

more art 1 copyI don’t like labels. I don’t think any of us do, yet we are so quick to define others and ourselves with sawed off parameters we think we understand.

We say, “I’m a Christian.” “I’m a Jew.” “I’m gay.” I’m straight.” “I’m a liberal”, or “I’m a conservative.” “I’m a this, or I’m a that,” all such limiting labels! What person would want to be reduced to a tidy box of rhetoric? What one of us would fit?

I have struggled for years with the confines of being stamped and shoehorn into a contrived definition or sector's ideology, because I don’t fit.  I’ve struggled to shake loose and darn it, I want to stay that way. I won’t be squished and bullied and shoved from the sidelines. I won’t even come up with new labels to reclassify and broaden existing definitions of the fuller more rounded me.

It hurts to be seen as a label, sized-up like a piece of meat, slicing here and cutting there to clean off all contradiction. The truth is, I hope I’m always a contradiction, because I’m a moving, breathing, feeling imperfect example of humanity that can’t be reduced to a sterile, bland piece of cardboard.

Labels lack all evidence of love. When I sense a judging, whispering debacle, it makes me want to scream. It leaves me perplexed and conflicted, because aren't we all the same, really?

We must be free to express our uniqueness even when it’s an out of the box contradiction, full of shadows and light. We can’t, we mustn’t be satisfied with the convenience and superficiality of labels! Let us aspired to a greater love than that!

I Care About What the Neighbors Think

Abundance 1Most of us long to be loved and accepted. In an attempt to gain acceptance we often concern ourselves with the opinion of others. It’s quite human to care about what people think. The problem is when rather than gaining awareness around this tendency, we shame others or ourselves for it. When we disassociate from our humanity we create the problem of disconnecting from our personhood.

Maybe you've heard the message that the “a fear of man” is a bad quality to possess, when in reality it is a very human trait. It would certainly be helpful to take note when we're focusing outwardly on others opinions, wondering, “What will the neighbors, the relatives, or those folks think?” However, when we demonstrate compassion toward this very human tendency we free ourselves from trying to hide it, so we can get clear about the internal wealth that we actually possess.

Acceptance allows us to be real, vulnerable and own that, “Yes, I care about what you might think of me, because I want to be loved and accepted, but I will give myself the self nurture I need by looking within for my value.” Shaming this behavior prolongs it and maintains the need to appear above it.

 If you are like me and occasionally take the temperature of the room to see what others are thinking, give yourself a break. Recognize that you already have the best approval around by the mere fact that you exist. Ease into acceptance, let go and don’t shame yourself for being human.